Home > Spiritual Living > Toxic Behaviours That Kill Your Soul, or easy ways to become unenlightened

Toxic Behaviours That Kill Your Soul, or easy ways to become unenlightened

7 Dec 2015   Shanti Gowans

Enlightenment is a state of spiritual knowledge and insight. To live a pure and happy life, we need to let  toxicity slip out of our lives. It sometimes just sneaks in before we have a chance to check it at the door. When we do realise we are behaving poorly, it’s often already too late. Not too late to change it, but too late to have prevented it in the first place. So, let’s identify what some of these toxic behaviours are,  and without judging anyone, I feel sure we could recognise ourselves in some of these. 

If you are into the Law of Attraction you’ll know that these behaviours stop manifestations in their tracks and can completely block what you want to attract in life.

What is Toxic Bahaviour

Toxic behaviour are those things that you do that suck the life out of you and others. When you recognise some of these behaviours, it is quite easy to change them. Simply stop doing them. Easier said than done? Not really. When you know what it’s doing to your soul, wouldn’t you want it to stop immediately anyway? 

Becoming an object

When you objectify your living be it via gender, race, nationality, age, gender, good and bad as in bad student. good mother, fashionista, lover, romantic, you give yourself as many labels as you can find and then are determined to showcase them to everyone, so that everyone can see the branded version of the object that you are.

Making a story about your life and believing every word of it.

The story you tell yourself becomes truth! Do you tell yourself life is hard; that you’re meant to be unhappy, sad and bitter. Your parents did this and that, your partner is out of shape, your body is always hurting you, your coffee is always cold. And winter comes every year … how rude! you can surely see where this is going!

Keep looking and searching

This is the grass is greener elsewhere syndrome, wehre you always look outside your soul for solutions, strategies, things to do, things to follow, things to like, stories to read and everything that can show you the direction you should go. This keeps you running as fast as you can so you won’t sense the present moment sneaking up on you, begging you to stop. 

Living in the past and the future – never in the now.

You act as if nothing is going on now, as if everything you love is in the past or in the future. For example: It’s raining outside and there’s no good light to make a selfie. It’s not yet Christmas, not your birthday and not summer. And everyone on Tinder has been swiped away.

You’ve already lived the past

How some people love to hang on to what happened 5, 10 or even 25 years ago. They go on and on about it to whoever will listen. Who you are today is not just because of what happened to you yesterday, but the result of the way you chose to handle the past. We didn’t all have silver spoons in our mouths. Some of us were dealt really poor hands. It is what it is. Be done with it. No one wants to hear it. Just tell us something happy and joyful. That’s all people want to hear now.

You don’t believe in spirituality, or the universe.

You’re just living on a chunk of rock and stone, and you have no purpose in life. Why believe in something spiritual or universal?

You don’t appreciate life

When you don't value life, you live with a philosophy of 'Kill it all.' All that meat from the store near you has your name on it, even though it destroys the very planet you live on. Why worry about what it’s affecting? You are here to be unenlightened and unaffected by truth, so grill that steak and dig in!

You listen to every negative thought you have and let them define you.

You’ve got 90,000 thoughts and you beleive taht you should listen to every negative one of them. Let them define the object that they create you to be. Your being is small enough to fit in a backpack, so your definition of self should be less than a Twitter feed.

Woe is me

Listen to your conversations. Do you play for the sympathy card by always being the victim, never the victor? Sad things keep happening to you and you can’t wait to tell the next person you see. The more you talk about it, the more depressed you get and the more terrible things keep happening to you. When you are tempted to think your life is bad, go and hang out in a city where they just had a devastating earthquake or tsunami. Stop whining. People around you are sick of listening to it and there will come a point where no one will want to be around you. How lonely will that be?

You don’t give anything to anyone

You believe that you might not know what you miss before you lose it, so never give away anything. Hoard all of your stuff and things. You feel an emotional connection to stuff. Your things are connected to you and without them you can’t be the object you really are. You even care more about the life and death of your objects such as your iPhone more than any human being on the street or in the third world. (Yes, that is true unenlightenment and we’ve all got it!)

You don’t meditate

You fill your mind with chaos, noise and distractions so you never become fully rested, peaceful and joyful.

You don’t feel pain

You numb your emotions with alcohol, food or prescription drugs. If you have mental or physical pain, there are a variety of medicines you can get from your doctor to remove this right away. You never go to the source of anything because you might actually fix it. 

You are addicted to anger

You need your regular anger fix, and create any drama to keep you topped up. 

Addiction will always be something you fight unless you replace your bad addiction with good ones. Never give up. Soon you will be proud of yourself as you would have left many of theese behaviours behind. Even if you still have some to work on, you will feel glad that to be on the right track.

Getting stuck in the “hamster wheel”.

You are focused on goals and never stop running. Always focussed on the next big thing. When you are with your loved ones, you constantly think about the day you get “that job”, “that deal” or “that partner” so that you’re never fully aware of the present.

You throw gratitude out the door:

Being grateful means accepting things or people. Unenlightened people don’t accept themselves or others. So you throw gratitude out the door, and always (at least 5-10 times per day) find something to be worried, angry or upset about. It’s raining. Someone is talking too loud. There’s too much traffic.

Everything around you can be turned into a negative that you don’t want in your life, and you use this principle whenever you can.


Most people talk about others in their lives, so you can say that everyone gossips. Some of us more than others. We talk about the girl next door, or the new guy that just started working here. We talk about how the Brown’s just split up and why they separated. This is often a human past-time. However,  gossiping is talking about someone with the motivation of cutting down someone else’s life. When we judge people, condemn them, and talk about them with a negative spin, it indicates an insecurity or jealousy in us. This is the time to reflect on where you are lacking in your life that you feel the need to cut down someone else’s life? Have a think about that often.

Telling Lies

Just don’t do it. Not even white lies. There’s no point or purpose to this. Who are you lying to and why? It doesn’t even make any sense to lie. If you think the truth hurts, check out a lie. Nothing hurts more than that.

Worrying about things that haven’t happened as yet

Why would you waste your time and energy worrying about something that hasn’t even happened? Many people play out a situation in their head and their first instinct is to be play it out with a bad ending. Worry is not unatural. It’s up to you to control it and stop it in its tracks before it spirals out of control, letting stress kick in and a rise in your blood pressure.

Holding a grudge

Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Think about that for a second. The poison you are drinking is the grudge. You are swallowing every drop and you are mad to a point of no return. Expecting something evil to happen to the other person? Honestly they could care less about what you think. They probably aren’t even thinking about you anyway. So why on earth are you wasting your time and energy grudging on someone? Go pick some flowers and bring them to that person, or a nursing home. Really. Spend time doing happy things. Not brewing and stewing over silly things.


The people in the magazine are beautiful. Sally has a stunning body. Jimmy has a nice car. The Whites just bought a brand new house. With every turn, someone, somewhere, has something better or nicer than we do. If your first reaction is jealousy then you will burn up on the inside. There is no need to be jealous really. We all have something special, unique and beautiful inside of us. We also all have something that someone else wishes they had. Just be grateful for who you are and what you have. You are perfect and blessed exactly the way you are. Embrace it.

Your Self Talk

Watch how you talk to yourself. You are listening. Make sure your self-talk is loving, kind, compassionate, gentle, caring and supportive. Talking bad about yourself, to yourself, is damaging. Treat yourself in a totally loving and positive manner. When you do this, you will be able to see how awesome you are and how much more awesome you will become. 

Negative Nancy

We are really truly sad for you and wish, just once, you could see something in a positive light. Not everything is bad. Try to find the good in things and when you do you will see that more good things will show up in your life. It’s a universal law. It has to be. You are sucking the life out of the people around you and they won’t want to hang around you anymore. Instead harbour the thought: 'the light in mee sees the light in you'.

Being ignorant

You close yourself off from knowledge and truth and hide out in your individualism. Ignorance is definitely bliss, and it’s also your denial of reality. If you keep shielding yourself from the truth, unenlightenment is just around the corner.

This list covers many things that many people all do, almost on a daily basis. Next time you catch yourself doing any of these, stop it. Immediately. This is energetically holding you back from attracting all of the prosperity, love, happiness and abundance that you desire. Turn it around and tell yourself that your soul is beautiful and deserves only loving, kind and caring thoughts. Once you get into this habit, in no time you will see that these behaviours will become a thing of the past and your soul will illuminate beauty. 

Enlightenment is our natural a state of being.that we experience only when we totally meet the present moment with no goals, no state of mind, no rules, objects, reasons or thoughts.





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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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